Tait bows out from council
After 30 years representing the people of Huntly, Graeme Tait is bowing out of local body politics and will not seek re-election to the Waikato District Council.
‘‘I’ve enjoyed my time on council, I’ve always tried to do my best for the ratepayers,’’ Tait said.
‘‘I’ve been here long enough... it’s just one of those things.’’
Tait’s political career began when elected as a councillor in 1986 to the former Huntly Borough Council.
Three years later he moved onto the Huntly Community Board when the amalgamation created the Waikato District Council. He served on the community board until 1992, then was elected to represent the Huntly ward.
He started off in local government at 46 years old, the ‘‘average age’’ for a councillor in those days. He said he was well-known in the community from being born and bred in the North Wai- kato.
‘‘Between the [St John] ambulance and the butcher shop is how I came to be on council.’’
It’s been a trying but enjoyable time for the father of two who has seen the council evolve and the tasks of a councillor change dramatically over the years.
Tait has been involved in plenty of ‘‘vigorous debates’’ including the decision to implement water meters.
‘‘I fought hard against water meters but lost that battle in the end... democracy rules.’’
Tait wasn’t one to hold back on sharing his opinion but said any clashes between councillors always stayed in the council chambers.
And like a rugby match, they would all be mates again in the pub later on, he said.
‘‘We had one guy in there and he had a ding dong and threw all the toys out of the cot... [but] he had already poured all the drinks when we got out,’’ he said.
Some of the developments he’s been particularly proud to be part of are the Hampton Downs Motorsport Park and transforming the Huntly swimming pool to a heated facility.
‘‘That’s been quite beneficial for the town,’’ he said.
Tait said he wanted to help his community because it was just part of his nature.
And it was thanks to the support of his late wife Pauline that he was able to get so far.
‘‘Every successful man has a successful woman behind him.’’